Why my Cat Will Never Start a Business

My cat is pretty awesome but I’ve come to the conclusion that she will never have what it takes to start a business. I promise I’m not crazy here, just stick with me on this analogy.

Last week she decided to let herself out of our bedroom by jumping up and grabbing the handle. She’s learned she can grab door handles and pop them open but she still isn’t able to come and go as she pleases around the house. If she’s lucky, the door swings open enough that she can stick her head in and get out. Sometimes though, the door will unlatch but there will be a very tiny gap that she can’t get through. This is what happened last week. The gap was big enough for her to put her paw in and pull the door open but instead she just patted at it half-heartedly with her paws and meowed loudly in protest. She tried jumping up and grabbing the handle a few more times, paced back and forth, then finally just gave up, walked away and sat in the nearby window. This is probably why I’m more of a dog person…

As I watched this unfold I realized that my cat is capable, but she isn’t committed. She has the idea, she’s even tried a few things to get to her goal, but she isn’t willing to do what it takes to get the task completed. In the end, she’s a lot like many people I know. She’d rather just go sit in the window sill and watch the world go by than work hard to gain her freedom.

I’ve got an old college friend that I will call Mike. Mike has been talking about his idea for an invention for years now. He would mention it in passing at first but refused to give any details when I would ask him about it, like he was protecting his secret weapon for freedom. A few months ago Mike finally explained what he has been working on. He even had a working prototype but as we spoke and I asked him more questions I could tell he wasn’t “all-in” with his desire to produce and market this product. He had the idea, he got the door unlatched, but he wasn’t pushing through! Last month I came across a Kickstarter campaign from another inventor marketing the exact same product as Mike. This guy had pushed forward where Mike had not.

I’ve been in the same boat myself. When I was 12 years old I came up with an idea for something I called TabSYS. This was a system of locators (Tabs) that you could stick to remotes, key chains, cordless phones (at the time cell phones didn’t exist) and you could push a button on the base station and they would beep so you could find your keys, remotes, or anything else you’ve lost. I never got any further than the name and basic design but a few years ago I found a company called StickNFind that is basically the modern day version of what I came up with 20 years ago.

So my cat will never start a business because she lacks the perseverance to push through (see what I did there?). Mike was beat to market because he spent years dreaming about a project but wouldn’t get past the “safe” stages and take the risk of the next step. I missed out on a good product because at the age of 12, I lacked the vision, goals, and belief in myself to make it happen.

The point of all this is ideas are not enough. The best idea in the world gets you no closer to your goals unless you’re willing to push through and see it to the end. We come up with a great idea and we hold onto it like a “Get out of Jail Free” card that will rescue us from our mundane lives when in reality we’re too scared of failure or hard work to see it through. If you’re sitting on the fence what is really stopping you from the next step? Are you too afraid to ask for financial support? Do you need to find an expert to guide you to your next step? Are you too afraid of failure to step off the sidelines and try? Identify what is holding you back and find a way to overcome it!

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